The High Court today directed Department of Environment (DoE) to take appropriate legal action against 30 washing plants in Dhaka's Keraniganj for polluting water of the Buriganga river.
The court also asked DoE to submit a report in seven days after complying with its directive.
It issued a rule asking the managing director of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) and chairman of Rural Electrification Board (REB) to explain in two weeks why contempt of court proceedings should not be brought against them for giving further gas and electricity connections to the companies despite its prohibition order.
The HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed by rights organisation Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) in May 2010 seeking necessary directives to save the Buriganga river from pollution.
During hearing today, petitioner's lawyer Manzill Murshid said the HC on January 3 ordered the DoE to lodge separate cases against 30 washing plants in Keraniganj in 30 days for polluting river water.
But the DoE only filed three cases with Keraniganj Police Station against three companies --Bismillah, Ahmed Hossain and Sun Moon washing plants -- under the Environment Preservation Act, 1995.
The DoE has not taken any steps to arrest the owners of the three companies although their offence is cognisable, he said.
Citing a DoE compliance report, Manzill Murshid said TGTDCL and REB had disconnected supply of gas and electricity to the companies polluting in line with the HC's earlier directive.
But they have given further connection of gas and electricity supply to the companies in violation of the HC directive, he said, adding that the companies are still polluting Buriganga river and damaging the environment.
The factories are: Ahmed Hossain, Amena, Sun Moon, Eden, Bismillah, Lotus, Global, Rubel, Anushka, Sotota, Chanchal, Abdur Rob, Dhaka, Ajan, New Sahara, Dohar, Relative, New Nasha, Unique, Mow, Setu, Quality, Joena, Kalam, Water Colour, Par Joar, GM, Cumilla, Achhia and Lily water plants.